Introduction to Comics

Victoria Ying
8 Lessons (6h 3m)
8 Week(s)

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  1. Watch Video Lessons at Your Own Pace
  2. Assignments Included
  3. Peer Feedback
  4. Switch Courses as Often as You Like
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  1. Watch Video Lessons with a Planned Curriculum
  2. Scheduled Assignments with Deadlines
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  4. Watch Video Lessons and Peer Feedback as Often as You'd Like
  5. Ability to Contact Instructor with Questions
  6. Digital Certificate of Completion
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Course Description

Break free from the ordinary and venture into a world where stories spring to life panel by panel! If you've ever dreamed of wielding the power of visual storytelling onto the pages of epic graphic narratives, this course is your ultimate launching pad. 

Acclaimed author and illustrator Victoria Ying will be your guide as you explore the essential building blocks of comics, from how to brainstorm unique story ideas, to character and set design, to pacing and layout, to inking and coloring, and even how to get your comic published. Each lesson will build upon the last, guiding you step by step through the creation of a fully complete 8-page comic by the end of the journey.

Throughout the course, Victoria shares her real-world experience as a comic creator to outline exactly what it takes to successfully tell stories in a graphic format. With informative lectures, several helpful demos, and practical assignments, this course is designed to give you all the tools you need to create immersive comic-book worlds that readers won't want to leave!

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Drawing Tablet

Lesson Plan

In this introductory lesson, Victoria will provide a class overview as you begin to explore the skills you need to tell stories in a graphic format. You will learn about what comics are, the evolution of comics, and the many different types of comics that are made today. You'll also learn about the process of developing an 8-page comic for this course, starting with a demo of the ideation process and discussing techniques for generating story concepts. By the end of this lesson, you'll have a grasp of the foundational concepts necessary for your comic creation journey.

Building upon the story ideas generated in the first lesson, this lesson focuses on transforming your ideas into a structured script. You'll explore different scripting techniques, understand the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, and learn how to practice scripting through simple exercises. Victoria will then do a demo on reverse scripting, showing you how you can gain inspiration from existing storytelling methods and apply them to your own comic.

In this lesson, Victoria will provide a brief lecture on character design and its significance and impact on storytelling, as well as set design and things you should consider when creating environments that will enhance your comic's narrative. Victoria will then demonstrate how she approaches design, from the research and reference phase to balancing stylization with realism, and how to build environments in SketchUp.

Thumbnailing serves as a bridge between script and visuals, allowing you to map out your comic's layout and pacing. This lesson focuses on the secrets to creating thumbnails and thumbnailing techniques that prioritize speed and flexibility. Victoria will then do a demo on how she takes a script and turns it into a thumbnail pass using Comic Draw, while providing tips on size, fonts, and the placement of your panels and text so that you can explore various layout options and decide which ones will work best for your comic.

With your thumbnailing complete, it's time to refine your comic through a process called inking. Victoria will go through examples of pages of inks that she finds very effective, go over the different ways to ink, and discuss the pros and cons of each method before jumping into a demo of taking the thumbnails created in the last lesson and showing you how to ink them.

In this lesson, you’ll learn about the various coloring techniques and styles that will enable you to bring your inked comic to a final rendered look. This lecture will cover the importance of value over color, how to choose colors, color harmonies, and how to take inspiration from different color palettes. Victoria will then demo her process for choosing colors, how she adds values, preps her files, and even reveals some shortcuts to coloring.

Now that the comic is colored, the final step is comic book lettering! In this lesson, you will learn about what lettering is, why it’s important, and strategies for achieving a natural and reader-friendly "read order" through skillful lettering placement. Then, Victoria will do a demo on her process of lettering, font selection, how to integrate sound effects onto the page, and even how to create your own unique font!

Congratulations! Your 8-page comic is now inked, colored, and lettered, so let’s talk about publishing so you can share your comic with the world. This lesson provides a comprehensive overview of traditional and modern publishing options, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Victoria will discuss the role of agents in the publishing process, examining the pros and cons of agent representation based on real-world experiences, show you how to craft proposals and queries for submissions, and share insights into selecting the right agent for your needs. This lesson also covers coping with rejection and exploring alternative publishing routes, ensuring you're well-prepared to enter the publishing phase.


Victoria Ying

Growing up in Southern California, Victoria Ying's art career started with a love for comic books. This eventually led her to Art Center where she studied illustration and entertainment design. At Disney, she focused on visual development and storytelling. Her film credits include Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, "Paperman", Big Hero 6, and Moana. Her debut picture book, "Meow!", is available in stores now. Victoria currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog.